When discussing apartment designs, features like countertops, cabinets, and appliances often get more attention than flooring, but that doesn’t discount the latter’s importance.

Like all decisions multifamily professionals have to make when designing an apartment, choosing the right flooring is essential. These days, it seems as though vinyl is the popular choice.

Of the respondents in MFE's exclusive 2017 Concept Community Study who are installing new flooring, luxury vinyl/vinyl plank/vinyl is the most common flooring material used—21.6% of multifamily professionals said they're currently installing the product, while 29.2% said they're considering doing so.

Low VOC/no-VOC flooring and carpeting tied as the second–most used material: 13.7% of survey participants said they're currently installing those floors, followed by laminate, at 11.8%, and tile, at 2%. Despite the low number for tile, 16.7% of respondents said they're considering the product. Meanwhile, 8.3% are considering carpeting, and 4.2% are considering low-VOC/no-VOC flooring. No respondents said they're considering installing laminate.

When ranking next-gen products across various categories, respondents said flooring yields the fourth-highest ROI, at 8.8%, behind only appliances (18.2%), HVAC equipment (10.1%), and utility management products (10.1%).

The survey, conducted by our data partner on the 2017 MFE Concept Community, The Farnsworth Group, examines usage and perceptions regarding next-generation building performance. This year’s survey, which received responses from 159 multifamily builders, developers, and architects, sheds light on current conditions for industry professionals by addressing the following questions:

· What are the current trends in next-gen products?

· Which next-gen products are industry pros currently installing or considering installing?

· What efficiencies are being promoted to residents about these products, and how are they being communicated?

Given the myriad variables involved in producing housing, it’s always smart to prepare for the future. With that in mind, the 2017 Concept Community examines processes and products that can help close the gap on code, land, labor, and materials challenges by shaving time and cost from the construction process.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll share additional tidbits and stats from the survey in anticipation of the annual Multifamily Executive Conference, which will be held this year Sept. 18–20 in Las Vegas.